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Casper Spotting: The search for the elusive white dolphin

Casper the Dolphin
Princess Monterey Whale Watching
Casper surfaces in the Monterey Bay

MONTEREY BAY, Calif. (KION) Casper, the elusive white dolphin, has once again been spotted in the bay.

Casper is a Risso's dolphin, a common species for Monterey Bay but what makes Casper unique is it's snow white coloring caused by either leucism or albinism. It's uncertain whether Casper is leucisitic or albino because Casper has never been photographed with its eyes open. Red eyes are a common trait for albinism.

A marine biologist at Monterey Bay Whale Watch says Casper is one of only three Risso's dolphins in the world with this trait.

"He's not a very common dolphin to see but we will see him often when he's not in those large groups like we saw today but sometimes we go many months in between sightings," says Colleen Talty.

Casper was first spotted in August 2014 and has been periodically seen ever since.

During the trip, multiple groups of Risso's were spotted, Casper happened to be in one of the groups and got close to the boat, a rarity for Casper.

"He came up really close to the boat which is not always his normal behavior. He can sometimes be pretty elusive so, he was right next to the boat and we got some really great sightings," says Talty.

Ben Hagler has been coming out to whale watches with his father for years and he says the last time he's seen Casper was in Spetember.

"I saw him once before last September but it was only for a couple of surfacings. This time was amazing. He just kept coming up and got pretty close to the boat," says Hagler.

Monterey Bay is the only place that Casper has been spotted, according to Monterey Bay Whale Watch but Risso's dolphins can also been seen throughout the California coast.

Article Topic Follows: Monterey

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Stephanie Aceves

Stephanie Aceves is a former multi-media journalist at KION News Channel 5/46.


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